Mikaela Shiffrin wows the crowd on ‘Wait Wait’ | VailDaily.com

Mikaela Shiffrin wows the crowd on ‘Wait Wait’

Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin may have fame and adoration, but she likely hasn't had more fun being interviewed than she did this week on "Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me," the NPR weekly news quiz. "Wait Wait" brought its show to the Red Rocks Amphitheater this week where the crowd tried to figure out what was real news and what's made up. The show airs at 10 a.m. today and 9 a.m. Sunday on 90.9 FM Vail and 99.7 FM Eagle. Host Peter Sagal put it this way. "'Wait Wait' is at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater this week, and so we've invited Colorado native Mikaela Shiffrin to play 'Not My Job.' Shiffrin grew up in Vail, and at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, she became the youngest person ever to win an Olympic gold medal in slalom," Sagal said. After chatting with Sagal and the panel — Brian Babylon, Paula Poundstone and Tom Bodett — Shiffrin took a three-question test on something related to skiing only because it involves topography. 'IT'S THE CHEESE! AFTER IT!' "We've invited Shiffrin to play a game called 'It's the cheese! After it!'" Sagal said. "If you think downhill ski racing is dangerous, then you've never seen the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Races. For centuries, competitors have hurled their bodies down a frighteningly steep hill, chasing a wheel of cheese. Sure, one year 33 people had to go to the hospital with injuries, but the winner gets to keep the wheel of cheese. Beats a medal, right?" No word yet on whether Shiffrin answered two of the three questions correctly. "Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me!" is NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's not. Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Mikaela Shiffrin wows the crowd on ‘Wait Wait’

MORRISON — Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin may have fame and adoration, but she likely hasn't had more fun being interviewed than she did this week on "Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me," the NPR weekly news quiz. "Wait Wait" brought its show to the Red Rocks Amphitheater this week where the crowd tried to figure out what was real news and what's made up. The show airs at 10 a.m. today and 9 a.m. Sunday on 90.9 FM Vail and 99.7 FM Eagle. Host Peter Sagal put it this way. "'Wait Wait' is at Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater this week, and so we've invited Colorado native Mikaela Shiffrin to play 'Not My Job.' Shiffrin grew up in Vail, and at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, she became the youngest person ever to win an Olympic gold medal in slalom," Sagal said. After chatting with Sagal and the panel — Brian Babylon, Paula Poundstone and Tom Bodett — Shiffrin took a three-question test on something related to skiing only because it involves topography. 'IT'S THE CHEESE! AFTER IT!' "We've invited Shiffrin to play a game called 'It's the cheese! After it!'" Sagal said. "If you think downhill ski racing is dangerous, then you've never seen the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Races. For centuries, competitors have hurled their bodies down a frighteningly steep hill, chasing a wheel of cheese. Sure, one year 33 people had to go to the hospital with injuries, but the winner gets to keep the wheel of cheese. Beats a medal, right?" No word yet on whether Shiffrin answered two of the three questions correctly. "Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me!" is NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's not. Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Waiting for news

“The hardest part is not hearing anything from him,” says Gloria Serna, the mother of Lance Cpl. Jesus Gallegos, 21, an Eagle Valley High School 2000 graduate in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps. 2nd Batallion. The last time Serna talked with her son was March 7, when he was in Kuwait City. That day, a letter from Jesus also arrived in the mail. “It was pretty personal; he wrote a lot about the family,” Serna says. “He said, “I know you’re proud of me, but the real hero is you because what I’ve learned, I learned it from you.’” also sounded a little scared, her mother says. “I could feel it in the tone of his voice,” she says. “He gets sentimental when he’s frightened. But he also told me not to worry. He said, “I’m doing what I want to do, Mom.’” Jesus isn’t a man who shrinks before a challenge, says his sister, Delcie Davis. “We did bungee-jumping in Pueblo and he dove from cliffs,” she says. “He isn’t afraid of trying things.” Becoming a Marine When the recruiter for the Marines came to Eagle Valley High School, Jesus, then a junior, signed up to join. “I think he had doubts at the beginning because he didn’t realize the commitment he was making,” says his sister. “But he did a lot of growing up when he was in boot camp.” In August 2000, Jesus left Gypsum, where he lived with his mother, for California to start his new life as a Marine. “When he came back he had lost 60 pounds,” Davis says. “He was fit and was very polite and respectful.” Serna says her son had always been a good student, a football player in high school, and a fisherman. He also showed cattle at the Eagle County Rodeo, where he won Grand Champion Steer in 1997 and 1999. “He’s a strong-willed person and very independent,” Serna says. “He likes being a Marine and he enjoys the travelling.” In the past two years, Jesus has been to Singapore, Australia and Hawaii. Deena Eaton, the mother of his best friend, John, who has known him since the two boys were in kindergarten, says Jesus is a strong, level-headed man, and that should help him cope with the war. “He is a wonderful young man. I could consider him a son,” Eaton says. “Every time he comes home, he comes to see us. I even remember when he called from Hawaii at 3 a.m.” This isn’t Jesus’s first time in action. In 2001 he spent eight months in the Persian Gulf patrolling the waters during the conflict in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “When he was there, he e-mailed us a lot,” she says. “But before he left for Kuwait, he told us he couldn’t write us e-mails because of security reasons.” Still, Jesus was able to ask for some things in his letters. “He said the sandstorms are bad and they can’t shower often, so he wanted baby wipes and toiletries,” she says. The Wal Mart in Frisco, where Serna is an assistant manager, sent Jesus and his batallion 56 pounds of baby wipes and other items. “He also wanted family photos, chocolate and baked goodies,” she says. The right cause Gloria Serna wears a yellow ribbon in support of the troops in Iraq. “I also have yellow bows in my house,” says Serna, who now lives in Frisco. She says she doesn’t agree with the dozens of protests against the war that had taken place in the United States. “Now that they are there, our troops need support,” she says. “I’m very patriotic. I believe that if the president says they need to be there, that’s what they have to do.” Deena Eaton says Gallegos’ strong family background should also help him while he is in Iraq. “His mom was a single mom and did an amazing job raising her kids,” she says. Serna, a widow, raised her four kids alone for most of their lives. “The thing that stands out the most is that when he called to say he was going to Afghanistan, he was emotional. But all he said was, “If something happens to me, please take care of my mom.’” Henry Serna, Jesus’s eldest brother, says he also feels the strong family bond will help his brother stay focus. “He has a place to come back to when this is over,” says Henry Serna, who baptized his brother. “We support him through this and we hope that he is safe.” Since the war started, Gloria Serna says she can’t sleep well. She also is staying with her children in Gypsum to get support. The last time she saw her son was during Christmas. Jesus was shipped to Kuwait in January. “I’m very proud of what he’s doing,” she says. “But it’s also stressful, I’m scared all the time. I fear that phone call, but most of all I fear the TV. I always fear that whenever they say, “So many Marines have been killed today’, I’ll see Jesus’ picture or hear his name. “You can never prepare yourself for bad news,” says Gloria Serna. “And no matter what happens, I have to remember that this is what he chose.” Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.

Shiffrin misses race after warmup fall

Olympic slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin crashed while warming up for a World Cup giant slalom race in Are, Sweden, on Saturday and was taken to a local hospital for tests on her right knee. "She basically flipped over into the net," Shiffrin's manager Kilian Albrecht told The Associated Press as Shiffrin missed the race. "She's in the hospital waiting for the MRI which will probably take a while." The U.S. Ski Team did not immediately issue a statement on Shiffrin's status, as per team policy to await full injury details. "I fell during free skiing on the race hill and I'm waiting for an MRI this afternoon to see what's going on," Shiffrin wrote on Facebook under a picture of her sitting on a bed with a brace on her right knee. She was taken to a hospital in Ostersund, Albrecht said. The 20-year-old Shiffrin won gold in the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games and also won the slalom at the last two world championships. Shiffrin also won the opening two slaloms this season in Aspen, Colorado, last month — one of them by 3.07 seconds, the largest margin of victory in World Cup history for the women's discipline. In the overall World Cup standings, Shiffrin dropped to 104 points behind fellow American Lindsey Vonn, who won Saturday's race. The first run of the GS race was delayed by 15 minutes due to strong winds and shortened by 11 gates. Visibility was also a factor, with the artificial lights turned on to aid skiers. Sara Hector of Sweden, the first starter, pulled up midway through her run with an apparent knee injury and was taken down the course on a sled. "I hope both of them are OK," Vonn said. "Ski racing needs Mikaela and Sara. We can't afford to lose any more athletes so I really hope that they're both OK. We need them back at the start tomorrow." With Tina Maze taking this season off and defending overall winner Anna Fenninger out injured for the year, Shiffrin and Vonn are the top two overall contenders. Shiffrin had done well in Are previously. She won her first World Cup race there three years ago by taking a night slalom and also won two other slaloms at the Swedish resort near the Arctic Circle. A slalom is scheduled for Sunday in Are. ——— Andrew Dampf on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/asdampf

Eagle-Vail’s Mikaela Shiffrin earns 1st World Cup win

Seventeen-year-old Eagle-Vail ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin picked up her first World Cup win Thursday in Sweden. Shiffrin became the third youngest American woman to win a World Cup race behind Kiki Cutter, who won slalom in 1968 at the age of 16, and Jody Nagel, who won slalom in 1969 at just three months younger than Shiffrin. The win also puts her on top of the World Cup slalom standings with 196 points over Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch’s 174 points. She won the night race in Are, Sweden, with a combined time of 1 minute, 45.36 seconds. U.S. Ski Team spokesman Doug Haney said she had an “incredibly solid” first run, after which she was in second place, but it was her second run that blew everyone away. Haney called it “flawless.” Shiffrin sounded wise beyond her years in a teleconference with the media around 2 p.m. Colorado time Thursday as she spoke about her win and the mindset she had going into the race. She felt like Thursday night was her night to pick up a win because she said she finally felt ready. She knew whenever she felt ready, admitting she has never been able to predict when that feeling would come, that’s when she would win. “I’ve been in this position a couple times now and gave it away because I was thinking too much about today being my day,” Shiffrin said, adding she knew she had to fight for it Thursday night. “Tonight I just felt like I know how to handle that position now.” Shiffrin didn’t expect to win at such a young age, but she “sure hoped for it,” she said. She said she has tried to stay grounded and focused as she has worked toward her first World Cup victory. “I didn’t want to be waiting around that long because I’m pretty impatient when it comes to competition,” she said. Shiffrin talked about the emotions she felt after the win, and what it was like to see her mother at the finish area. She said the finish area was hectic and she had to stay out there for media photos. It was 10 or 15 minutes before she saw her mother. “I kept seeing her across the fence and I couldn’t get to her,” Shiffrin said. “It was so exciting and there was all sorts of emotion running through everybody. … Hearing her say, ‘Great job,’ and ‘I love you,’ and ‘I’m so proud of you,’ – it was just the best thing.” That’s when it hit Shiffrin that everything she’s been working so hard for is now paying off. She described that moment as when she started to feel like she was home – she now feels like she’s where she belongs, she said. “It’s hard to find that feeling when you’re so far away from home for so long,” Shiffrin said. Shiffrin said her phone was “blowing up” while on the media call, which happened around 10 p.m. Sweden time. Congratulatory posts on social media sites were also blowing up as the news spread across the Atlantic. “Omg Mikaela Shiffrin just won a World Cup in Sweden, huge,” Tweeted professional skier Chris Anthony, of Avon. She was getting shout-outs from fellow American skiers, too, including veteran racer Steven Nyman, who picked up a World Cup downhill win last weekend in Italy. “Yeeeaaahhhhhhh Mikaela Shiffrin nice work baby! I picked you for the win! And you officially made me quit slalom,” Nyman Tweeted. Shiffrin entered her first World Cup in the Czech Republic in March 2011. She did not qualify in her first three World Cup attempts, but picked up an eighth-place finish in her fourth World Cup race in Aspen just more than a year ago in slalom. After Aspen, Shiffrin did not finish her next two races and then failed to qualify in giant slalom in Lienz, Austria. The next day, Dec. 29, 2011, however, Shiffrin picked up her first podium with a third-place finish in slalom in Lienz. She was just 16 years old. Since then, she has scored World Cup points in 10 races out of 14 entered, including Thursday’s slalom win. And, in her 14 career World Cup slalom starts, Shiffrin has seven top-10 finishes, including two podiums and Thursday’s win. Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.

Shiffrin unsure how long she will be out

VAIL — Over the next few weeks, Mikaela Shiffrin will slalom between rest and rehab. Usually so fast on a race course, the Olympic and world slalom champion is taking things at a much slower pace as she recovers from a torn knee ligament and painful bone bruise. There's no timetable for her return to skiing, either. But there is some promising news: She won't need surgery. Just rest. Lots and lots of rest after tearing the medial collateral ligament in her right knee during a wipeout while preparing for a giant slalom last Saturday in Are, Sweden. when will she return? "I know lots of people are anxious to predict when I might return to skiing and then racing, but we just don't have any crystal balls," Shiffrin posted Tuesday on Instagram. "I will work as hard as possible, take it week by week." Don't write off her return this season just yet. There's still a possibility the skier from Eagle-Vail, Colorado, returns to the slopes, maybe even for the World Cup Finals in March. Now that would be quite a birthday present for Shiffrin, who turns 21 in March "Frankly, we have not talked about (a return) at all yet as it simply depends on how fast it'll heal and you never really know with a bone bruise how long that will take," Shiffrin's manager, Kilian Albrecht, told The Associated Press. "You can only take it week by week first, and then day by day. "Obviously, there is hope that she can return as the season is still pretty long. But unfortunately all of the tech races are now, which is not good as she will for sure miss a lot of the races." Shiffrin was hurt when she crashed during a free skiing session on the competition hill. Albrecht said she basically flipped over and into the net. She flew back to Colorado for more tests on her knee. Shiffrin announced Tuesday on her social media sites: "Good news from physician visit yesterday — no additional injury from what we already knew." What it means She was considered the top contender to teammate Lindsey Vonn in the World Cup overall race, especially with Tina Maze taking the season off and defending champ Anna Fenninger sidelined with a knee injury. That's all but vanished for Shiffrin, who won the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and at the last two world championships. Shiffrin was in the midst of a stellar start, too, winning the opening two slaloms in Aspen by staggering margins, including one by 3.07 seconds, the largest margin of victory for the women's discipline in World Cup history. She also made her speed debut in Lake Louise, Alberta, this month and finished a respectable 15th during a super-G race won by Vonn. "Thank you for the incredible support — I feel the love," Shiffrin said.

Mikaela Shiffrin races super-G at Copper Mountain

COPPER MOUNTAIN — Participating in her first two International Ski Federation-level super-G races in the United States on Wednesday, Eagle-Vail's Mikaela Shiffrin finished 16th and 15th. The field of competitors was deep, with ski racers from all over the world visiting Copper Mountain's newly-opened speed center to see where they stack up against a handful of the top competitors on the planet. "I was a little nervous, not because it was super-G, but when you're in a group of a bunch of girls and you're trying to ski fast, there's always nerves," Shiffrin said. "And I don't really like waiting to go — the whole waiting thing I'm not really good at." Shiffrin had considerable waiting to do, as she was one of the last competitors to hit the starting gate. "While each racer goes down and gets one racer, two racers, three racers closer to me, then I'm pretty good," she said. Shiffrin completed the first race in 1:09:85, and the second in 1:08:01. She said her plan is to continue to improve her ranking in super-G and possibly make a World Cup start in that discipline in Val d'Isere, Italy, on Dec. 21. "(Val d'Isere) is pretty technical," she said. "It's good for me because I know how to turn and I'm getting better at gliding and going straight, so it seems like the right kind of course." ROSS WINS SECOND RACE With a time of 1:06:89, U.S. Ski Team member Laurenne Ross won the second super-G race at Copper Mountain on Wednesday after finishing eighth in the first. "It was a tough field, but it's always like that here in November because all the World Cup girls are always over here training and everybody wants to get a race under their belt before Lake Louise," Ross said. Ross and the rest of the U.S. team have their first day of speed training on Tuesday at Copper. They found out about the FIS race on Sunday. "There wasn't snow so we weren't expecting to have a race here this year," Ross said. "But I think once they found out they could have one, they immediately decided to put it on." Ross and the U.S. women's speed team heads up to Lake Louise on Nov. 30.

The lady remains a champ; Shiffrin wins

BEAVER CREEK — The lady does have a flair for the dramatic. Eagle-Vail's Mikaela Shiffrin needed every bit of the last portion of the 2,099-foot women's slalom course to pull out gold on Saturday at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Beaver Creek. Shiffrin had a 0.40-second first-run lead over Sweden's Frida Hansdotter, but a good run by the current World Cup leader preceding Shiffrin essentially erased that margin. Shiffrin was 4-hundredths of a second behind Hansdotter at the first time interval and 3-hundredths back heading into The Abyss and the face of Redtail. Yet Shiffrin somehow found time in the final stretch, pulling away from Hansdotter by 34-hundredths with the Czech Republic's Sarka Strachova earning bronze. "Why did you ski slow at the start," Eileen Shiffrin, Mikaela's mom, joked at the post-race news conference. "I was so worried that I was going to screw it up," Mikaela said. "I was telling myself I wasn't feeling pressure, that I'm going to go out and make my best turns and it's going to be fine even if I don't get the gold. Then I'm in the starting gate going, 'God, I want this.' It's a mental battle with myself for how much to push. Hopefully, at some point in my career, I can charge top to bottom no matter what." Her career to date is pretty darn good. Shiffrin, 19 and turning 20 next month, defended her world title in the slalom, having won her first Championships gold back in Schladming, Austria, in 2013. It's also her third "major" medal with her Olympic gold in the discipline in Sochi, Russia, last year. Since World Cup statistics are independent of the Olympics and Worlds, she also has 12 World Cup wins and two World Cup slalom titles to her name. Shiffrin appeared unemotional at the finish line with her time in green lights and a capacity crowd going bananas. "I put a ton of energy out there, especially on that last third of the course, making sure every turn was spot on," Shiffrin said. "I had no energy in the finish. It's always a little awkward. I feel like all the best racers had an epic finish celebration. Ted (Ligety) throws his ski. Lindsey (Vonn) falls on the ground. (Tina) Maze puts her finger in the air. How about if I do something epic? Then I get to the finish, and I'm like, 'Hi. I'm kind of a dork.' I don't want to show that side of myself. I'm not that great at showing my emotions. Guess I have to work on that." Not a dork Shiffrin, most assuredly, is not a dork, or everyone who roots for American ski racing would like to be a dork like her, however that works. Despite Ligety's win in men's giant slalom on Friday, the U.S. Ski Team's first gold medal of these Championships, Shiffrin faced a ton of pressure to produce on Saturday. As the wait increased for the second run of the slalom, the finish stadium's big screen showed Shiffrin at the top of the hill, looking like she was napping. In fact, she had gotten her regular daily nap earlier between runs. "Yes, in fact, I am half a bear," Shiffrin joked. "It's so hot today. If it's too cold or too hot, it effects my energy. I was saving my energy for the second run." Hence she lay in the snow with the appearance of cool. Yet she was feeling the pressure. "One of my motivating factors is not to be an example like used in Choke or Mindset," said Shiffrin, referring to psychology books she's read. "They always use examples of athletes that choked. It's like, maybe, they didn't choke. It's a goal to not be used as an example. I've been lucky so far with how well all these big events are going. Pressure is what you make it. If you work hard enough, prepare hard enough, you can still perform. Ted proved it yesterday, I proved it today. Frida proves it every single race." And Hansdotter put the heat on Shiffrin with what would be the fastest second run — 48.35 seconds. As uneasy as the home crowd seemed as Shiffrin fell slightly behind through the two timing intervals, making up the time was as simple as finding her rhythm and letting her skis run on Redtail. "I can admit how much I wanted this race," Shiffrin said. "Yeah, that second run, I know how much Frida can attack those courses. Between the first and second run, I thought, 'I have to just hold my own against Frida.' Then (Slovakia's Veronika Velez) Zuzulova had an incredible run, everybody, I felt comfortable enough with my margin. I knew it was enough except for Sarka and Frida. I found my rhythm and just kept going and it just got better and better." Happy podium Hansdotter, who took bronze in the last Worlds, had won two slaloms on the World Cup circuit this season, emerging as Shiffrin's chief competitor. Down by 4-tenths after the first run, Hansdotter let it all hang out on her second run. "I feel super happy on my skiing," Hansdotter said. "It's been a great season for me. To achieve this medal is unbelievable. Mikaela was skiing super good today. It was hard to beat her, but I'm happy with the silver medal." Hansdotter said she briefly entertained thoughts of gold after Shiffrin's first two splits, but then saw how the American was skiing the bottom of the course, and knew that it was over. Strachova won her fourth career medal at Worlds with a combined time that was 77-hundredths behind Shiffrin. All of those medals came before July 2012, when Strachova had surgery for a brain tumor. She returned to competition five months later, but understandably her comeback was just beginning. "Yeah, it's hard to describe this feeling because this is an amazing day," Strachova said. "(A) bronze medal for me, it is almost a gold, I worked so hard to get back on top. Standing on the podium next to Mikaela and Frida, I can't believe it." Slovakia's Zuzulova was fourth, followed by Austria's Kathrin Zettel. Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, cfreud@vaildaily.com and @cfreud.

Shiffrin takes the first-run lead

BEAVER CREEK — Mikaela Shiffrin has set the stage for Saturday's women's slalom at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Beaver Creek. The Eagle-Vail native, running with bib No. 2, tore down Birds of Prey with a first-run time of 50.07 seconds. Shiffrin, the defending Worlds and Olympic gold medalist in slalom, holds a lead of 0.40 seconds over Sweden's Frida Hansdotter and the Czech Republic's Sarka Strachova (0.44 seconds) in third place. The second run is at 2:15 p.m. today. After the United States captured its first gold on Friday with Ted Ligety winning the men's giant slalom, the pro-American crowd seemed in the mood for more. After Slovenian Tina Maze made a slight bobble on the face of Retail, which would drop her to fifth, 0.85 seconds off the pace, to open the slalom. And then Shiffrin roared down the course, going into green at the first split and increasing her lead down the hill. Nothing is ever over in a slalom, but 0.4 seconds is a nice advantage to have in one's pocket. Shiffrin, however, does face formidable opposition. Hansdotter leads the World Cup in slalom points ahead of Shiffrin, 420-379. Strachova won slalom gold at Worlds in 2007 in Are, Sweden. Austria's Michaela Kirchgasser lies in wait in fourth, 0.77 seconds off the pace. She's flashed her slalom skills already at these Championships with a bronze in the combined earlier this week. Maze, in fifth, is bidding for her fourth individual medal of these Worlds. Canada's Erin Mielzynski is a bit of a surprise in sixth, 0.85 seconds behind Shiffrin. Austria's Carmen Thalmann, a 0.94 seconds out, is the last racer within one tick of the American leader.

Shiffrin crushes rivals for 3rd straight slalom world title

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — Mikaela Shiffrin was in a world of her own on Saturday, extending her unbeaten record in slalom gold medal events. The 2014 Olympic champion imperiously won her specialist event at a third straight ski world championships — and by a huge margin of 1.64 seconds. Still aged just 21, the American star was nerveless, ruthless and stylish, turning a first-run lead of 0.38 over the home fans' favorite Wendy Holdener into a rout. Frida Hansdotter of Sweden was third, trailing by 1.75. "It happened almost as perfect as it could have," Shiffrin said. "That was the way I imagined myself skiing the course." On crossing the finish line, Shiffrin gazed up for several seconds at the giant screen and then gulped in air on finally seeing the size of her victory. "I didn't want to celebrate until I knew for certain I had won," she said. "But when I saw 1.6, I thought, 'Is the time wrong?' That was a really special moment." Swiss fans, who had loudly supported Holdener two minutes earlier, duly acclaimed the unbeaten champion. "I heard the crowd cheering so loud," Shiffrin recalled of her wait to start. "I was thinking, 'Oh that's cool, (Wendy) must be happy, but today is my day, not yours.'" Minutes before her decisive run, Shiffrin was filmed keeping cool by sitting beneath an umbrella to find shade from the sunshine. Her gold medal streak in slalom now includes each world championships she entered, and her only Winter Olympics. Shiffrin's victory also gave the United States its first world title at St. Moritz in the 10th of 11 medal events. On a clear day and in perfect racing conditions, Shiffrin was 0.85 faster than any rival second time down. Holdener added slalom silver to her gold medal in the combined event. Both her medals were won after Swiss star Lara Gut crashed out of the championships with a serious knee injury. "It's crazy," the 23-year-old Holdener said. "It wasn't always easy, the pressure is here. I'm proud of myself." With Shiffrin also getting a silver medal in giant slalom, the U.S. team's tally is three. Lindsey Vonn took bronze in downhill. "I'm really excited with the silver in GS and today's race is as good as it could be," said Shiffrin, who was congratulated course-side by IOC President Thomas Bach. Bach watched Shiffrin's second run from the same VIP seats where Roger Federer saw Vonn race last Sunday. "I think I am her best mascot," Bach told The Associated Press. "Whenever I am at (ski) world championships, she is winning. So we were looking forward together for next year." Given good health, Shiffrin should arrive in South Korea next year among the biggest favorites for Olympic gold at the Pyeongchang Games. Another of the skiing's biggest honors is likely to be in Shiffrin's hands next month. She is the clear leader and strong favorite, since Gut's injury, to claim her first giant crystal globe trophy — awarded to the best all-around skier in a grueling five-month World Cup season. "There is a lot of work to do still, and there are some girls who are close enough that they can be dangerous," Shiffrin cautioned. Still, the World Cup finals week races in Aspen, Colorado, next month will be almost certainly another Shiffrin coronation.